Author Topic: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter  (Read 17348 times)

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Offline roger

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #140 on: January 20, 2010, 11:32:54 pm »
I went through and parsed/glossed Prof. Frommer's letter in linguistic style, if people want to take a look at it.  Please do let me know if you find typos/errors/etc., or any questions about the formatting.
Okay. Mostly pretty good, apart for a couple typos (forgetting the apostrophe in 'friend' a couple times, etc.). Here's what I see:

oe-eyä, nga-eyä — I think we can assume an allomorph -eyä for PNs
fì-txan — not "adj-great", but "this-great"
tì-yawne-it — if you're gonna break it up, the root is yawne
fì-'u-t-a — you can break it down further
fya-wintxu-ri — (ditto)
nì-awn-omum — ?? I don't see how we can be sure what the -awn- is. Yeah, prob'ly based on aynga, but it's hard to know for sure.
'aw-si-teng — parsed
tì-kan-kem — parsed (kan "to aim")
kifkey-it — acc.
za-m<ol>unge — from za-munge; there's no PST there
ke-a — just "not-adj". It's a normal adj, not a RC
tì-'eyng-it
za-m<iv>unge
lì'-'u-t — parsed
0-koren-ti=sì — Must be init /k/. Otherwise pl would be ayhoren only.
lì-fya-yä — parsed
lì'-'u=fa — fa "by means of"
k<ìy><iv>ame — ?? <iv> not confirmed. Could be, but we don't know for sure.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #141 on: January 20, 2010, 11:34:01 pm »
Not sure what you think I was saying to drop besides ay-?  That is correct, only the plural prefix ay- can be dropped.
Fìtrr oeru ke lu eltu...  Oeri ke omum futa fperìl....

Offline Giawa

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #142 on: January 20, 2010, 11:40:19 pm »
What date are we expecting the pocket guide to be updated on?
Tonight :D

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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #143 on: January 20, 2010, 11:46:16 pm »
I went through and parsed/glossed Prof. Frommer's letter in linguistic style, if people want to take a look at it.  Please do let me know if you find typos/errors/etc., or any questions about the formatting.
Okay. Mostly pretty good, apart for a couple typos (forgetting the apostrophe in 'friend' a couple times, etc.). Here's what I see:

oe-eyä, nga-eyä — I think we can assume an allomorph -eyä for PNs
fì-txan — not "adj-great", but "this-great"
tì-yawne-it — if you're gonna break it up, the root is yawne
fì-'u-t-a — you can break it down further
fya-wintxu-ri — (ditto)
nì-awn-omum — ?? I don't see how we can be sure what the -awn- is. Yeah, prob'ly based on aynga, but it's hard to know for sure.
'aw-si-teng — parsed
tì-kan-kem — parsed (kan "to aim")
kifkey-it — acc.
za-m<ol>unge — from za-munge; there's no PST there
ke-a — just "not-adj". It's a normal adj, not a RC
tì-'eyng-it
za-m<iv>unge
lì'-'u-t — parsed
0-koren-ti=sì — Must be init /k/. Otherwise pl would be ayhoren only.
lì-fya-yä — parsed
lì'-'u=fa — fa "by means of"
k<ìy><iv>ame — ?? <iv> not confirmed. Could be, but we don't know for sure.


After finishing my version without peeking at yours and then comparing our two I agree with what you have and also agree with everything Roger said here.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #144 on: January 20, 2010, 11:53:48 pm »
Thanks for your comments!  My responses below.

Okay. Mostly pretty good, apart for a couple typos (forgetting the apostrophe in 'friend' a couple times, etc.). Here's what I see:
I didn't leave it out; it undergoes lenition because of the preceding plural suffix.
Quote
oe-eyä, nga-eyä — I think we can assume an allomorph -eyä for PNs
I don't think we can assume this; see my post under "case allomorphs" (which I will be updating shortly).
Quote
fì-txan — not "adj-great", but "this-great"
I dunno about that...  What is "this"?  And where is it in the translation?  It looks to me like fìtxan is modifying the adverb, and is thus adjective-y.  (If this is true, it is interesting to note that we don't have an attributive when an adjective modifies an adverb.)
Quote
tì-yawne-it — if you're gonna break it up, the root is yawne
Well, I'm not sure it is...  Based on the discussion above, we have "yawne" for "beloved" and "tìyawn" for the noun "love," and thus a mystery /e/ that disappears.  I'm betting that the /e/ is actually forming an adjective somehow, so that "yawn" will turn out to be the verb "to love."  It is speculative, yes, but no more so than saying that that /e/ goes away but doesn't come back before the accusative -t.
Quote
fì-'u-t-a — you can break it down further
I'm not sure what you're referring to here.
Quote
nì-awn-omum — ?? I don't see how we can be sure what the -awn- is. Yeah, prob'ly based on aynga, but it's hard to know for sure.
Well, that's what it gets translated as, for one thing, and we have this change elsewhere.
Quote
kifkey-it — acc.
Yup, my bad.
Quote
za-m<ol>unge — from za-munge; there's no PST there
Hrm... Yeah, I wondered about this.  Where else do we see the /zamunge/ verb?
Quote
ke-a — just "not-adj". It's a normal adj, not a RC
Indeed.
Quote
0-koren-ti=sì — Must be init /k/. Otherwise pl would be ayhoren only.
Good catch, thanks.
Quote
k<ìy><iv>ame — ?? <iv> not confirmed. Could be, but we don't know for sure.
Agreed.  But, given the meaning, I'm going to stick with that analysis until we find some counter-example (or a word from on high :p).

A couple of your changes I didn't make; I don't necessarily want everything parsed down to their tiniest pieces, as that makes it hard to figure out what is going on (e.g., I'm going to leave "work" as a whole unit, at least for the moment).

Thanks again!  I'm going to post an updated version shortly, with line numbers...  If you're leaving comments on that version, please use the line numbers!  I really should have done this to start with... :p

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #145 on: January 21, 2010, 12:00:01 am »
 Fìlìfyari "Oer ke zoplo" fu "Oer ke zoplo nìwotx!" oeru prrte' leiu nìtxan.
  I like this phrase "no offense to me" or "no offense to me at all!" a lot.

Ke'u ke lu is also great and grammatically correct to the best of my knowledge. Double negatives are attested in the film dialog.

I think Ke'u nang! (Oh, (it's) nothing!) could also work in this scenario or even for a very casual "You're welcome.", but these are NOT attested. I don't see what's wrong with their being used in this context of this community, though. Very little slang in any human language is ever governed by RULES per se.

We humans express our pleasantries in terms of exchanging favors.  Acknowledging the receipt of a favor: Thanks, I'm in your debt, I owe you one.  Graciously removing the obligation: No problem, it's nothing, think nothing of it.  The Na'vi don't seem to think in such terms.  We have (yet) no words for money, trade, exchange, swap, debt, owe, or even favor (although we do have promise and give).  Instead, the Na'vi live off the bounty of Eywa.  Eywa bestows her blessings upon the people, and the people are grateful.

So what pleasantry would someone say after having given a gift or favor and having been thanked?  What Would Eywa Do?  Eywa provides for the people, the people express their gratitude, and Eywa.. promises the people that she will provide for them again.  Not as an exchange for their worship, but as an acknowledgement that this is what Eywa does for the Na'vi, that the rhythm of the years goes on.

You could think of it as the equivalent of "Anytime" or "I'm always here for you", but I think I have a better gloss.  I offer two versions - one formal, one informal:

  • Formal: Ngari tìsìltsan zìyeva'u To you the goodness will come again soon Ngari tìsìltsan nìmun zìyeva'u To you the goodness again may it come soon - "Blessings upon you."
  • Informal: Nìmun zìyeva'u - (I/it) will come (to you) again soon Again may (I/it) come (to you) soon - "Blessed be."

(Compare with Kìyevame (I) will see (you) again soon May (we) See (each other again) in the future. - "See you again.")

  - Eri


Edit: revised given what we now know about kìyevame
Edit: revised again because I decided Nìmun zìyeva'u sounds better than just Zìyeva'u even for the short form
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 05:01:50 pm by Erimeyz »

Offline Karyu Amawey

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #146 on: January 21, 2010, 12:06:29 am »
Kaltxì frapo!  I have made the appropriate changes to the Pocket Guide, and I have included some minor aesthetic/format changes as well.  Ivong Na'vi!
Oel ayngati kameie

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #147 on: January 21, 2010, 12:06:55 am »
This may perhaps answer one of my nagging questions regarding the attributive adposition(See the bold section above).  If I wanted to say "large home" it would be "apxa kelku" and not apxaa kelku.  Agree?
Unless apxa already has an attrib within it. Perhaps the root is pxa or apx. (I'm just guessing here.)
Also, it may be that stress shifts or s.t., the way it does w fem. tuté.

I tend not to think the attr is within it, but thanks for the input.  The stress shift idea is interesting and something I hadn't considered before.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline suomichris

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #148 on: January 21, 2010, 12:08:30 am »
We humans express our pleasantries in terms of exchanging favors.  Acknowledging the receipt of a favor: Thanks, I'm in your debt, I owe you one.  Graciously removing the obligation: No problem, it's nothing, think nothing of it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the boat!  You can't give a handful of English examples and say that this is how humans think; you can't even say that this is how English speakers thing, because using a set phrase like this is often completely disconnected from what it literally means.  I also disagree with your interpretation of things like "no problem;" it's not removing removing some sort of potential future obligations, it's indicating that it was nothing to me, but something to you.  It's actually a bit condescending.

But, I agree with the main point; who knows what the Na'vi do?  Only time will tell...


Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #150 on: January 21, 2010, 12:13:50 am »
Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the boat!

Please consider my words as one man's thinking out loud, not as a claim to absolute and universal truth.

A poem, if you will, not a manifesto.

 - Eri

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #151 on: January 21, 2010, 12:25:37 am »
Ooh ooh, can I take it as an ultimatum? Please?
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Prrton

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #152 on: January 21, 2010, 12:53:26 am »
*Kangkem is probably the infinitive/imperative form of of "to work" but based on rumors/hints I suspect that it does NOT conjugate/infix on kan/kang. Perhaps this will become our first example of a class of "irregular verbs" or perhaps we already have that in omum. Just try infixing it starting on o and watch what happens. There is probably already a rule about this somewhere that I don't know. If so, someone please inform me.
I think we have s.t. similar in iveyk (<iv>eyk), sjv of 'to lead'. Sjv of omum should just be ivomum, srak?

Kxawm tsun livu nìlaw. I've been sticking in after the OM and before the UM, though. It works there if you treat it like a single syllable "simple" verb like tsun (kind of). *omeruyum *omìyeium *omamusängum?? Of course this will turn out to be the error that Na'vi children have trouble taming between the ages of 2.5 4.5 ayzìsìt and I'll walk around sounding like a skxawng again. Oh well. Par for the course.

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #153 on: January 21, 2010, 12:56:38 am »
I've been taking the literal interpretation of "before the first vowel in the penultimate syllable" myself as well.  It does seem a bit odd saying ivomum or ayomum, but I don't see any ambiguity in the meaning by having the infix dangling off the front, even when the infix is the same as the plural prefix.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline suomichris

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #154 on: January 21, 2010, 01:03:48 am »
I've been taking the literal interpretation of "before the first vowel in the penultimate syllable" myself as well.  It does seem a bit odd saying ivomum or ayomum, but I don't see any ambiguity in the meaning by having the infix dangling off the front, even when the infix is the same as the plural prefix.
Okay, I first have to say that, as a linguist, I *LOVE* that y'all are worried that the infixes becoming prefixes might be confusing!  Totally cracking me up, and reminding me how awesome Na'vi is.

As for the position of the infixes in vowel-initial roots: ... Huh, I thought Frommer's post on languagelog had something, but it isn't totally clear.  If we go by Wikipedia, it seems there isn't any reason you can't get the infixes here...  Hrm, hrm...

Offline roger

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #155 on: January 21, 2010, 01:31:35 am »
If we go by Wikipedia, it seems there isn't any reason you can't get the infixes here...  Hrm, hrm...
Keep in mind that Frommer hasn't had a chance to give much feedback on the WP article, and that little things like this could perhaps have passed him by unnoticed, though presumably if there were some howler in there he would have said something. So my suggestion is based solely on having iveyk in the film, and that could have been mistranscribed.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #156 on: January 21, 2010, 01:43:07 am »
If we go by Wikipedia, it seems there isn't any reason you can't get the infixes here...  Hrm, hrm...
Keep in mind that Frommer hasn't had a chance to give much feedback on the WP article, and that little things like this could perhaps have passed him by unnoticed, though presumably if there were some howler in there he would have said something. So my suggestion is based solely on having iveyk in the film, and that could have been mistranscribed.
Hmm... Do we only have this from transcriptions?  If so, it might well be that that form is really 'iveyk, which wouldn't tell us much....

Offline roger

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #157 on: January 21, 2010, 01:49:48 am »
If we go by Wikipedia, it seems there isn't any reason you can't get the infixes here...  Hrm, hrm...
Keep in mind that Frommer hasn't had a chance to give much feedback on the WP article, and that little things like this could perhaps have passed him by unnoticed, though presumably if there were some howler in there he would have said something. So my suggestion is based solely on having iveyk in the film, and that could have been mistranscribed.
Hmm... Do we only have this from transcriptions?  If so, it might well be that that form is really 'iveyk, which wouldn't tell us much....
Well, it would tell us that you need an epenthetic glottal stop to prevent an infix from becoming word-initial.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #158 on: January 21, 2010, 01:51:16 am »
Well, it would tell us that you need an epenthetic glottal stop to prevent an infix from becoming word-initial.
Err, no, I think it would tell us that we've the wrong root for eyk, which should be 'eyk if the glottal stop is there... Do we have this form written, though?

Offline Eight

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Re: Language Update - a closer look at Dr. Frommer's letter
« Reply #159 on: January 21, 2010, 02:11:19 am »
Well, and being fluent in a language that does the exact same thing -- Japanese -- where many verbs are formed with NOUN+する(suru).  Again the verb for love in Japanese is 愛(ai:noun)する(suru:do), I would call this a verb.  Just because the ending inflects or in Latin characters you write them as two words, doesn't really matter to me, personally.
Actually, you're fluent in two languages that do (more or less) the same thing. English does it alot with verb + preposition.

I put the Neytiri poster up on my bedroom wall..

I put up with my friends taking the piss out of me for that.

They put me down, but their insults don't matter.

= phrasal verbs

 

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